Last night’s episode of Community, “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics,” threw all that talk about character development and dropping the cartoonishness from the season premiere right out the window, but it brought us the “Ass Crack Bandit,” so I’m good with that. It was also a tribute to Seven, which is a great movie.
Sadly, no one yelled, “What’s in the BOOOoooox?”
Anyway, the whole thing starts with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Shirley’s reopened sandwich stand in the cafeteria, and it’s filled with lots of moody lighting and rain (like Seven). Then, while everyone is busy waiting to get free crackers from Shirley, the Ass Crack Bandit (ACB), well, shoves a quarter down Garrett’s upper buttock fold, and all Hell breaks loose.
The theme song is swapped out for a great newspaper clipping montage credit sequence about the bandit (also kind of a Seven nod).
As the Dean brings the study group up to speed with a letter sent by the Ass Crack Bandit, Professor Duncan makes a welcome appearance to creepily hit on Britta, make more jokes about Hickey being the new Pierce, and remind us John Oliver should be on this show more. Oh, and to help track down the ACB.
Of course, the Dean eventually turns to Jeff, and Jeff turns to playing games on his phone instead of helping. So, Annie tries to convince him they need to team up and find the ACB, because it’s time for some more weird Jeff/Annie tension.
Jeff finally gets on board after Troy gets “cracked”:
But not before Abed has kind of a too-Abed moment and then a not-Abed-enough one, which were the only things about the episode that struck me as off. He comforts Troy by covering him with a bunch of blankets, and when told to knock it off, he responds that, “This is how they comfort victims in movies.” It sounds kind of like it was a placeholder line that was meant to be replaced with something funnier later, because it basically sounds like, “This is an Abed thing to do.”
Shortly after, he goes uncharacteristic in the other direction, and it’s a great mockery of TV procedurals overusing the idea of “mildly autistic super detectives,” but it also comes off a bit too sarcastic and long winded for Abed. It’s OK. The rest of the episode was still great.
So the campus bans change, and Jeff and Annie set about finding the ACB, who Annie is convinced is a teacher, and being unnervingly adorable together. That leads to them chasing Ben Folds around a greenhouse as he tries to hide his pot plant, getting in trouble with the Dean, and Chang wearing a fake butt in the front of his pants and walking around backwards the whole episode, which was even more disturbing than I can convey in words.
About the 50th person on campus to do so, the Dean calls Jeff and Annie out on their weird chemistry and just looking for excuses to run around and hold hands in the dark. (And who could blame them? I would run around and hold hands in the dark with either or both of them in a second.)
Leonard then gets the honor of calling out the tension between Jeff and Annie in a better way than anyone has before by trying to kiss Jeff while Jeff tries to give him the same “platonic shoulder holding” he does with Annie.
They also find Starburns, who is alive and living in the school’s stables, and he confesses to the “crackings” and gets over-dramatically smacked by a wheelchair-bound Troy, because Donald Glover is great and he will be sorely missed.
The entire campus celebrates with a dance while Annie goes and has a pretty Hannibal Lecter-esque scene where she thinks Duncan is the ACB, and he seems to be menacingly trying to get her to leave herself vulnerable to get cracked (basically bend down to pick up her keys) while there’s no one around to help.
She escapes, and it turns out he was just being regular creepy and not quarter-down-your-butt-crack creepy when he gets cracked at the dance. This leads to the sudden news that Pierce is dead—for real this time (probably)—and Jeff and Annie wrap the whole thing up with some moody glances and a life affirming monologue just to put the bow on the whole crime-drama mocking package.
Oh, and it’s basically revealed (though never discovered) that Britta was the ACB all along in an effort to give herself a good psychological case study, which was a refreshing instance of her character not Britta-ing something.
The whole episode did what Community does best, which is mocking TV and movie tropes, and they did it with a whole bunch of amazing butt crack jokes. Basically, it was everything we ever wanted from this show. Plus, we got a great mockery of crowdfunding at the end.
(images via Community)
- Here’s where we talk about episode 2: “Introduction to Teaching”
- And the season premiere: “Repilot”
- And here you can watch Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs talk about the show